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Winifred Nicholson

  • Winifred Nicholson - Feock Creek
    Winifred Nicholson Feock Creek Full details

    SP 5222



    Oxford 1893 - 1981 Brampton


    Feock Creek


    Signed Winifred Nicholson and dated 1928 on stretcher

    Oil on canvas: 24 x 24 in / 61 x 61 cm

    There is a painting of a seated nude on the reverse.



    The Leicester Galleries, London

    Mr E. H. Fuller, Weybridge, Surrey, purchased at the Leicester Galleries exhibition in 1930, then by descent



    London, Leicester Galleries, Paintings by Winifred Nicholson, March – April 1930, no. 13

    Edinburgh, Scottish Arts Council Gallery, Winifred Nicholson Paintings 1900-1978, December 1979, no. 19: this exhibition travelled to Carlisle, Art Gallery, November 1979; Glasgow, Third Eye Centre, December 1979; Newcastle, University of Newcastle Upon Tyne, Hatton Gallery, January – February 1980; Colchester, The Minories, February – March 1980; and Penwith, St Ives Galleries, March – April 1980



    Jovan Nicholson, Ben Nicholson, Winifred Nicholson, Christopher Wood, Alfred Wallis, William Staite Murray, Art and Life 1920-1931, exhibition catalogue, Dulwich Picture Gallery, Philip Wilson Publishers, London, 2013, p. 34, Fig. 20 illustrated in colour


    In the summer of 1928 Winifred Nicholson and her family stayed at Feock, near Truro in Cornwall. It was to be an eventful and productive trip. The cottage Haylands, with views over the Creek (correctly termed Pill Creek), inspired Winifred to paint a number of pictures of boats and Pill Creek in various guises. Winifred described the area as, ‘a sleeping beauty’s countryside of southern foliage, sheltered creeks and wide expanse of placid water’ (A. Nicholson (ed.), Unknown Colour: Paintings, Letters, Writings by Winifred Nicholson, London, 1987, p. 91). Winifred Nicholson completed several paintings while a Feock, including Estuary (The Courtauld Gallery), Pill Creek (Government Art Collection) and Fishing Boat, Feock (ex Dartington Hall Trust), while working alongside her husband Ben Nicholson. Later Chistopher Wood joined the Nicholsons and all three painters worked together. It was from Feock that Ben Nicholson and Christopher Wood made a day trip to St Ives where they ‘discovered’ the primitive painter Alfred Wallis. Shortly afterwards the all moved from Feock to St Ives. 


    Intriguingly the nude on the reverse bears similarities to Christopher Wood’s painting Seated Girl in an Interior (private collection).


    We are grateful to Jovan Nicholson for writing this information sheet.



    Winifred Nicholson, Pill Creek, 1928                                   Winifred Nicholson, Estuary, 1928

    Oil on card: 52 x 77.5 cm                                                      Oil on canvas: 45.7 x 61 cm

    Government Art Collection                                                 The Courtauld Institute of Art, London




    Image on the reverse




    Oxford 1893 - 1981 Brampton


    A painter of colourful, lively figurative paintings, still lives and landscapes, Winifred Nicholson was a quintessentially British painter.  After studying at the Byam Shaw School of Art in London she first exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1914 under her maiden name Winifred Roberts, she then travelled extensively studying in Paris, Lugano and India.  In 1920 she met and married Ben Nicholson, the son of the distinguished artist, Sir William Nicholson and she continued to exhibit widely both on her own and with her husband.  A member of the Seven and Five Society and the New English Art Club she also exhibited abstract works under the name Winifred Dacre at the London Gallery in 1937.  In 1931 she separated from Ben Nicholson and moved to Paris where she lived until 1938 when she returned to live at Brampton in Cumbria near Hadrian’s Wall.  Works by Winifred Nicholson can be seen in many public collections including Tate Britain.


    Best known for her vibrant flower paintings she once wrote ‘when one is young one is satisfied with a flower petal or a sparkle.  Now I want more.  I want the rainbow scale of the flower and the reason and the travel of the sparkle’.


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